The human body is an intelligently-designed machine, following the circadian rhythm. This means that we need sleep in order to function, from a physical and mental perspective. The lack of sleep is particularly damaging to the brain, impairing the cognitive function and reducing the overall functionality. You might not be aware of this for a fact, but there are some habits that can affect the quality of your sleep. Keep on reading and discover the habits you should eliminate from your routine.
1 No meals before bedtime
If you eat right before going to bed, your stomach will be busy digesting the food. This means that you will have difficulties going to sleep, not to mention you will present an increased risk for digestive problems (heartburn, acid reflux, etc.). In general, it is recommended to eat at least 2-3 hours before going to bed, so that the food is properly digested. Avoid late night snacks, as these can do a lot of damage as well, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.
2 Too few hours of sleep
When you are young, skipping sleep seems like a good idea. But, as you get older, it is practically impossible not to notice how the lack of sleep affects you. If you sleep only 3-4 hours per night, your brain is bound to suffer. The next day, you will feel tired, less productive and even experience memory problems. In fact, one of the best ways to improve memory is to sleep for at least 7-8 hours per night. The brain registers the information accumulated throughout the day and discards what is not necessary.
3 Caffeine and/or nicotine before going to bed
No matter how much you love coffee, drinking a cup before going to bed is not a good idea. The higher the caffeine content, the more stimulated your brain is going to be. You can expect to go to sleep and enjoy a restful night with caffeine in your system. The same goes for sugary drinks that are rich in caffeine or even sweets, so pay attention to these as well. As for nicotine, this will affect your respiratory and circulatory systems, so you should avoid smoking cigarettes altogether.
4 Alcoholic drinks to induce sleep
Alcoholic drinks do not induce sleep, no matter what you might have heard. Yes, they will make you feel drowsy, but this has nothing to do with restful sleep. Initially, the brain is affected by the alcohol, hence the drowsiness. But, as soon as the alcohol has been metabolized by the liver, you will arouse and have genuine difficulties going back to sleep. Plus, there are so many wonderful methods available to induce restful sleep, which it would be a shame to rely on alcohol.
5 Abuse of technology
Technology has changed our lives for the better but not in all areas. When it comes to sleep, it has rather done harm than good. In the room where we sleep, there is a computer and a TV, not to mention e-Book readers, tablets and smartphones. We look at the glaring screen seconds before going to bed, wiring our brains and affecting the whole circadian rhythm. Moreover, given the appeal of technology, we always end up spending more time on various devices, cutting back on sleep.
When you go to bed, you should not spend all of your time thinking about the events of the day. At the same time, it is not recommended to worry about the next day’s events and plan everything to the letter. There is a time for sleep and a time for planning. Overthinking is one of the worst habits, a common encounter in the modern world, affecting your quality of sleep. Try to change your bed routine and imagine a place you would like to be; this will induce a state of relaxation, and it will promote quality sleep. And if this does not work, you should also consider taking sleep aids. The best sleep aid supplements are the ones that contain natural ingredients, inducing sleep in a healthy manner.
7 Sleeping with your phone next to you
In today’s busy-busy world, our smartphones have practically become an extension of ourselves. We have become accustomed to waking up to an alarm, which has also modified our patterns of sleep. But, at the same time, we have also picked up another bad habit. This is related to sleeping with our phones next to us; for this reason, the temptation to check emails, social media and texts are considerably higher. In order to get a good night’s sleep, you should place the smartphone at a safe distance from the bed. In the morning, all you will have to do is get up and stop the alarm, feeling more rested.
In conclusion, these are some of the habits you should eliminate, especially if you want to improve the overall quality of your sleep and wake up rested in the morning. Sleep hygiene is very important, so you might want to open your windows for a couple of minutes before going to bed. The fresh air will induce restful sleep and also help you breathe better throughout the night. You might also want to keep a humidifier in your room if the air is too dry.